Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Navy 30-Year Ship Plan

The Navy released its 30-year shipbuilding plan to supplement the Fiscal Year 2017 budget request, which continues the service’s request to put its remaining cruisers into a phased modernization plan and notes the requirement for 52 small surface combatants despite Defense Secretary Ash Carter curtailing the program at 40 Littoral Combat Ships and frigates.
The plan incorporates the many changes Congress has made to the Navy’s shipbuilding profile, in some cases to bump up procurement to get ahead of funding challenge in the 2020s due to the Ohio Replacement Program ballistic missile submarine. The shipbuilding plan reflects Congress’s intent to speed up production of the next Expeditionary Sea Base (ESB), formerly called the Afloat Forward Staging Base, for which lawmakers added money in the FY 2016 spending plan. And the shipbuilding plan acknowledges that lawmakers provided $1 billion for an additional Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, though the actual ship procurement charts were not updated to reflect the possible additional ship because “there are insufficient resources available to complete that ship” at this time.
The 30-year plan also outlines exactly how the Navy will pay for the every-other-generation SSBNs, which serve as the nation’s sea-based nuclear deterrent. The lead ship will be paid for incrementally over three years: 41 percent in FY 2021, 35 percent in FY 2022 and 24 percent in FY 2023. The second ship will be paid for in both FY 2024 and 2025, and beginning in FY 2026 the Navy will buy one boat a year.
The shipbuilding plan still advocates a phased modernization plan for the cruiser fleet despite vehement opposition from lawmakers  more